Alibaba Leads $400 Million Investment in Vietnam Retail Giant

(Bloomberg) -- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and partners are investing $400 million in Vietnamese conglomerate Masan Group Corp.’s retail arm, a deal that will expand the Chinese e-commerce giant’s online groceries business in Southeast Asia.Alibaba and Baring Private Equity Asia are leading a consortium that will take a 5.5% stake in The CrownX, which holds Masan Group’s interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce, while the conglomerate will own 80.2% of the firm following the investment, according to a statement Tuesday. The deal implies a pre-investment valuation of $6.9 billion for The CrownX, the statement showed.Masan is in advanced talks with other investors on a further investment of $300 million to $400 million into The CrownX that is expected to close in 2021, the company said.As part of the deal, the Vietnamese retail firm will team up with Alibaba’s Southeast Asian unit Lazada to expand its digital business in the country. Jack Ma’s firm is seeking to expand its foothold in Southeast Asia, home to more than 650 million people, as competition and regulatory scrutiny intensify in its home market of China. Vietnam’s digital economy is forecast to grow to $52 billion by 2025, an annual 29% increase from 2020, according to estimates by Bain & Co., Google and Temasek.VinCommerce will provide groceries to Lazada’s e-commerce platform in Vietnam and turn its physical stores into pick-up points for online orders, according to the statement. Groceries account for half of the country’s retail market and a quarter of consumer spending, but online penetration is still nascent,the statement said.“Our immediate priority is to modernize Vietnam’s grocery market and develop an unparalleled consumer proposition from assortment to shopping experience,” said Danny Le, chief executive officer of Masan Group.Masan Group is controlled by Vietnamese tycoon Nguyen Dang Quang. Founded in 1996, the Ho Chi Minh City-based firm is best-known for its fish sauce which it sells under brands including Chin-Su and Nam Ngu, according to its website. It has interests in retailing and mining as well as a stake in Vietnam Technological & Commercial Joint-Stock Bank, commonly known as Techcombank. Its Vincommerce arm operates one of the country’s largest convenience store chains.The CrownX is targeting online gross merchandise value to account for at least 5% of total sales in the coming years.More stories like this are available on bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P. Read More...


2 Big Dividend Stocks Yielding at Least 8%; Analysts Say ‘Buy’

Dividend stocks are always popular. They offer investors a clear path to returns, with regular cash payments and a yield – a return on the original investment – that usually far exceeds bond yields. But not all dividend stocks are created equal, and some offer better opportunities than others. Dividend yield is a key metric. Among S&P listed companies the average yield is only 2%. However, the highest yields aren’t always the way to go. Investors should also consider share appreciation or upside potential – these factors aren’t always connected to dividends, but they will affect the general returns available from a given stock. To that end, we’ve used the TipRanks database to pull up two high-yield dividend stocks that share a profile: a Buy-rating from the Street’s analyst corps; considerable upside potential; and a dividend yielding over 8%. Let’s take a closer look. New York Mortgage Trust (NYMT) We’ll start with a real estate investment trust (REIT), a logical place to turn for high dividend returns. REITs typically pay out higher than average dividends, as a way of complying with profit-return regulations in the tax code. New York Mortgage Trust, which holds a portfolio of adjustable-rate residential mortgage loans, commercial mortgages, and non-agency mortgage-backed securities, is typical of its niche, both in the quality of its portfolio and its high yield dividend. In its recent 1Q21 financial release, NYMT listed several metrics of interest to investors. The company sold off non-agency RMBS and CMBS totaling $111.6 million, purchased $347.3 million in residential loans, and finished the quarter with $4.72 billion in total assets. The company saw net investment income of $30.3 million, and was able to fund its dividend payment, to the tune of 10 cents per common share. At that payment rate, the dividend yields 8.91%. This was the second dividend declaration in a row at 10 cents; the company has been gradually increasing the payment since cutting it back last summer during the worst of the corona crisis. B. Riley analyst Matt Howlett was impressed by NYMT’s management of the recent economic crisis, and that factor takes a lead role in his recent initiation report. “Over the last decade, NYMT has delivered among the highest economic return within the space due in part to strong asset selection, low leverage, and a highly efficient operating structure. While the March 2020 liquidity crisis was a setback for the industry, NYMT managed the crisis admirably, in our view, and avoided any major wear and tear on the company. In fact, we argue that as NYMT has rebuilt, its originations have become more direct (acquiring loans vs. securities), and its cost of capital has been declining,” Howlett opined. In line with these comments, Howlett rates the stock a Buy, and his $6 price target implies a one-year upside potential of 36%. Based on the current dividend yield and the expected price appreciation, the stock has ~45% potential total return profile. (To watch Howlett’s track record, click here) Overall, there are four recent reviews on record for NYMT, and they break down to 2 Buys, 1 Hold, and 1 Sell for a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The shares are selling for $4.45, and the average price target of $5.17 suggests room for ~17% upside from that level. (See NYMT stock analysis on TipRanks) Global Net Lease (GNL) Next up, Global Net Lease, is another REIT. The portfolio here is built on commercial real estate properties. A review of the company’s portfolio shows 306 such properties, totaling 37.2 million square feet of leasable space, let to 130 tenants. GNL operates in 10 countries, and boasts that 99.7% of its total square footage has been leased. The average lease has 8.3 years remaining – an important factor, as the long term provides stability to the portfolio. In the first quarter of 2021, GNL showed a top line of $89.4 million, up 12.8% from the year-ago quarter. The company ran a net loss, but at $800,000 that loss was significantly smaller than the $5 million lost in 1Q20. Net operating income was up from $71.9 million one year ago to $81.8 million in 1Q21. GNL reported sound liquidity in the quarter, with $262.9 million in cash or cash equivalents and an additional $88.6 million available in credit. And most importantly, GNL reported collecting 100% of rents due in Q1. GNL declared a 40 cent dividend for common shareholders during the quarter, and through it distributed a total of $36.2 million. At that rate, the dividend annualizes to $1.60 and gives a high yield of 8.59%. The dividend was cut last year during the corona crisis, but has been kept stable for five quarters since then. All of this adds up to a company that is sound on fundamentals of its business, and that has attracted notice from analyst Bryan Maher. In his note for B. Riley, Maher writes, “GNL’s strong portfolio metrics provide for an attractive setup for the balance of 2021…. Given that GNL, in our view, is not over-levered and can borrow at exceedingly low rates, combined with prudent use of its in-place ATM, we are not concerned about the REIT’s ability to finance acquisitions to hit our $300.0M target for 2021.” The analyst summed up, “Given GNL’s well-crafted industrial/ office net lease portfolio and strong operating metrics, we reiterate our Buy rating on the shares.” The Buy rating comes with a $23 price target attached. At current share price, that implies an upside of ~25% for the next 12 months. (To watch Maher’s track record, click here) Some stocks fly under the radar, and GNL is one of those. Maher’s is the only recent analyst review of this company. (See GNL stock analysis on TipRanks) To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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